After college, Joel Hedeman joined his father’s one-man shop with an unambiguous goal: to build the largest real estate business in Green County, Wis., an area of about 37,000 people roughly an hour south of the state’s capital. Four years later, he has recruited 14 associates and is nearing his goal. In addition to growing the company, Hedeman, 29, handles almost 100 residential and 10 to 15 commercial appraisals each year, work that has helped him build his expertise in land and farm properties. “Every week, I take out my phone book, track down numbers, and cold-call farmers and landowners,” he says. A non-pushy approach with landowners has helped him to win business: He listens intently, shows genuine interest, and waits until they ask for information.
Tip: "Do your research and give your clients honest values, even if you're afraid it's not what they want to hear...they'll remember that honesty when the property sells."